Outdoor retailer Patagonia is opening a flagship store on Little Collins Street in Melbourne that will include event space to screen films and hold talks.
This is part of the retailer’s plan to open stores that have a positive impact on the community they are located in, rather than just being a place to sell things, according to Patagonia’s country director for ANZ Dane O’Shanassy.
“We have configured the store to be a place that serves our community, so it can be converted to a cinema space, an event space and talks,” he told Inside Retail.
“We want to make it available to the partners in our grant networks – environmental not-for-profits – and those that may have a need to bring people together.”
The store, set to open in November, will be the retailer’s eighth in Australia and its first flagship in Melbourne.
It will offer the brand’s full range of outdoor apparel and equipment, with a focus on “urban shoppers”.
From a design perspective, the store draws on Melbourne’s history of “iconic urban activism”, O’Shanassy said.
“When we looked back at the last 100 years, there were so many amazing moments of people coming together in support of environmental and social issues.”
Patagonia plans to open a few more stores in Australia and New Zealand over the next few years, according to O’Shanassy.
“Where we open, we’re not just looking at the impact on the business, but how it impacts the community,” he said.
“There needs to be a community benefit, not just a shop.”
Patagonia also is planning to raise the profile of its ‘Worn Wear’ repair service in the region. The retailer currently operates a repair hub in its Sydney flagship, where it fixes or alters items from Patagonia and other brands free of charge.
“We prioritise repair over replacement, our aim is to keep stuff out of landfill. It’s a really important part of the brand, and we think it will become more prominent over the next year or two,” O’Shanassy said.
The retailer currently has stores in Burleigh Heads, Byron Bay, Manly Beach, Sydney and Torquay. It also operates two outlet stores in Melbourne and Geelong.